MANILA – A lawmaker is urging the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and other relevant agencies to immediately release funds for the speedy rehabilitation of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), which was hit by fire during the weekend.
In filing House Resolution 1768, Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte said the incident would result in a severe setback to the service delivery of the hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Belmonte cited PGH director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi’s remarks saying damage to property, including medical equipment, is pegged at PHP50 million.
Gerardo further noted that at least three to four months will be needed before the state-run hospital can resume its normal operations.
“Hindi kakayanin ng ating bayan lalo na ng ating mga kababayan ang mawalan ng pagkakataong mabigyan ng dekalidad na serbisyong medikal lalo na at maraming sektor ng ating lipunan ang nilumpo na ng pandemya (Our country, especially Filipinos, would not be able to handle losing the opportunity to get quality health care, especially as several sectors in our society have been paralyzed by the pandemic),” Belmonte said.
Reports showed that the fire started at the operating room sanitization area on the third floor of PGH’s central block building.
Legaspi said initial findings showed that the faulty electrical wiring caused the fire that reached the first alarm at 12:41 a.m. and was raised to the second level at 12:58 a.m. on May 16.
The Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region (BFP-NCR) said the blaze was declared under control at 2:46 a.m. and was put out at 5:41 a.m.
The hospital resumed full operations of its Covid-19 wards on Tuesday.
The PGH is the country’s largest Covid-19 referral center. At present, the hospital has 148 Covid-19 patients, while its Covid-19 bed capacity remains at 250. (PNA)